Background: Acute renal failure after contrast-induced nephropathy is a clinically important and costly complication after the use of iodine-based contrast media. We investigated the cost and cost-effectiveness of 2 contrast media in patients at high risk of contrast-induced nephropathy.
Methods: The analyses were based on a randomized, prospective, multinational clinical study comparing the nephrotoxic effects of an isosmolar nonionic contrast medium, iodixanol, with those of a low-osmolar nonionic contrast medium, iohexol. Resource utilization data were obtained from the study and from a retrospective review of patients' hospital records. Swedish, German, and French unit prices were applied to resources used. Between-group differences in average costs were analyzed using a nonparametric bootstrap method.
Results: Resource utilization data for 125 patients were analyzed. Seven contrast media-related serious adverse reactions, of which 6 were acute renal failures, were noted in 6 patients receiving iohexol. Two patients in the iodixanol group had 1 nonserious reaction each. The mean hospitalization cost per patient was Euros 489, Euros 573, and Euros 393 lower after iodixanol than after iohexol using Swedish, German, and French unit prices, respectively. The mean per-patient costs of treating adverse drug reactions were Euros 371, Euros 399, and Euros 445 lower after iodixanol than after iohexol, using the respective unit prices (P < or = 0.01). Iodixanol was cost-effective compared with iohexol, with both lower costs and better effects related to fewer adverse drug reactions.
Conclusions: The isosmolar contrast medium iodixanol appears to be cost-effective when compared with a low-osmolar contrast medium, iohexol, in diabetic patients with renal impairment undergoing angiography.